Whats the different between superspecialty and subspecialty?

Thanks in advance

anonymousWhat's the different difference between superspecialty and subspecialty?

I've never heard of "superspecialty". Apparently the term is used in India for hospitals.

A subspecialty is a narrow field of expertise, part of a more general field.

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I find superspecialty a lot when googling


I find superspecialty a lot when googling

That should tell you something about googling. The OED does not have an entry for "superspecialty", nor does any other dictionary I can find. I can't imagine what it might mean. The search hits seem to be marketing copy from Indian hospitals, one of which "strives to destroy your ailments".


I find superspecialty a lot when googling

Google is not a good reference for the English lexicon. Try an English dictionary, and you will come up with zero entries. This word seems to be devised by doctors and primarily in Indian English. Learn the meaning of these neologisms from the context in which they are used.

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I found them both, but cannot understand the difference:
with sub:
with super:

Those are different words from the original posting.

To understand them you need to know the prefixes "sub" and "super".

"Sub" means "under," "narrow" or "lower." such as submarine, subservient, subsonic or subhuman.

"Super" means "higher", greater than" or "above" as in supervisor, supersonic, superman, or superhuman.

In "subspecialty", the prefix "sub" refers to the area of expertise. For example, if you are having heart problems, your general practitioner will refer you to a cardiologist, a specialist. (e.g. a cardiologist is a doctor of the heart and its diseases). The cardiologist may diagnose that your problem is the aortic valve and refer you to a subspecialist, who has studied the various problems and diseases of the heart valves (a more detailed or narrow subject than cardiology.)

In "superspecialist" the prefix "super" refers to the person. e.g. Superman is a man with powers greater than ordinary men. So a "superspecialist" has knowledge and power greater than the ordinary specialist. The prefix "super" refers to the superior knowledge and ability.

However, the frequency of usage of these words is markedly different. Only the prefix "sub-" is used with "specialty / specialist". The "super" prefix is not currently, and actually has never been.